Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

If Yzerman Retires, Blame Ilitch & Holland

Bill at A2Y feels fingers will point in the direction of Ilitch and Holland if Stevie hangs em up. Bill, you better be careful, the Wings may cut off your access to the lockerroom after statements like that!

Steve Yzerman knew he was healthy enough to keep playing the night he stormed down that tunnel, away from that frigging Hell that the Rexall rink had become. He also knew that this iteration of Wings wasn’t worth another year of his life. Steve Yzerman will come back if he feels the team is going to dynamically change. If Yzerman retires, blame Holland and Ilitch for not doing enough to improve this team.

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Odds Favor Canes

from the blog of Ron Francis,

However, last time I checked, the Oilers didn't win the Cup tonight. They still have to win 1 more game, and that game is Monday night, in Raleigh. The Canes worked hard all season just in case a series came down to a game seven, that they would be able to have that game 7 in Raleigh. On Monday, they will get the opportunity to win a agme 7 at home for the Stanley Cup.
read on

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Bad Timing

from Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post,

And then they hiked their ticket prices by five percent. For who? For what? For the chance to see Forsberg sit in the press box half the season with two broken feet? For the chance to see Hatcher and Rathje snail their way up and down the ice? For the chance to hope Keith Primeau doesn't get checked too hard? When it comes to public relations, timing is everything and this is no time for the Flyers to ask their fans for more money. Not unless they plan on signing a big-name free agent like defenseman Wade Redden or Nicklas Lidstrom, or a proven goal scorer like Patrik Elias.

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Avalanche Plan

from Terry Frei of the Denver Post,

In 13 days, the Avalanche, Hurricanes, Oilers and 27 other NHL franchises will be able to go after free agents. With the salary cap increasing from $39 million to about $43 million, teams will have more breathing room - and, perhaps, increased margin for error. But past mistakes still can be costly. The Avalanche doesn't have to be as concerned with the salaries it will pay Pierre Turgeon, Patrice Brisebois and Brad May as the fact that sticking with them would take up three roster spots and lessen flexibility elsewhere.

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Living With Taunts

from Alan Hahn of Newsday,

The taunts and jeers were crashing down over him in a relentless storm of ignorance, hate and bigotry. He heard words he knew could be directed only at him, the lone Ojibwa Indian on a tier II junior hockey team in Kenora, a map-dot town in western Ontario located just above Minnesota and right in the middle of a Ted Nolan nightmare. It was 1975. He was 17 years old. He had to get out of there.

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Draft Will Have North America Flavor

from the Columbus Dispatch,

The flavor of the 2006 NHL draft will be decidedly less continental. There are fewer elite Europeans available at the top end and, as the rounds go by Saturday in Vancouver’s GM Place, there will be fewer selected on the bottom end. Part of it is a cyclical downturn in available prospects on the other side of the Atlantic. Part of it is rules changes. Once again, welcome to the new NHL. A crackdown on clutching and grabbing has unleashed a fast and furious on-ice product. A salary cap has radically altered the economic landscape of the game. Now, it appears the collective bargaining agreement born of the lockout also will have an impact on the draft. "We’re all looking at European players a little differently than we did before," Atlanta Thrashers general manager Don Waddell said.

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HNIC Much Appreciated

from Jerry Green of the Detroit News,

It could be that there is only one soul in all of the United States hooked on our finest import, smuggled over Lake St. Clair and across the Detroit River. From where Prohibition booze once was carted across to our shores by canny bootleggers, we now have Hockey Night in Canada. Our Canadian neighbors, in their bouts of insecurity, on the odd occasion have banned American publications. But we are free to watch the pictures and voice explanations wafted our way by Don Cherry and his friends on the Canadian Broadcasting Co.
continued...many of us living in "border town" cities have appreciated HNIC so much through the years. But, with the games in HD on NBC, well, I made the switch but still turn to CBC for the intermissions...

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The Cup Will Come Out Monday

from the News and Observer,

At the RBC Center in Raleigh, a little boy pressed the air out of his inflatable Stanley Cup, his head bowed. One fan waved a Hurricanes flag back and forth as fans filed out. Dan Chatman said he knew things were amiss from the first period. "They just looked terrible. They came out really flat and never got better," he said. But fans held out hope that the Canes will win Monday in the decisive Game 7. "The win will be here. The cup will come out in the next game," Lisa Seago said.

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What About Elias

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,

So here are the most per tinent immediate ques tions to arise in the wake of reports out of the Czech Republic that impending free agent Patrik Elias has hired lifelong best friend Martin Havlat's agent, Allan Walsh, to represent him: 1. Would Elias will be willing to go to Ottawa for a relative discount if the Senators agree to a satisfactory long-term deal with right winger Havlat, who's eligible to hit the open market next summer? 2. Can the Senators convince prospective free-agent defensemen Zdeno Chara and Wade Redden to both take less to remain in Ottawa than each would command independently on the open market if doing so would allow the team to add Elias? 3. Would and/or could Lou Lamoriello keep Elias in New Jersey by pulling off a trade for Havlat then signing him to a long-term deal?
continued (reg. req.)

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Decision To Play Cole

from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,

When asked if we were taking a risk in playing, Cole said: “The risk is going to be with me the rest of my life. My neck was broken three-and-a-half months ago. It's going to be this way. But I felt strong over the last several weeks on the ice. The coaching staff felt, as long as I thought I could get it done, that we could do this.” Cole said he didn't return to the Hurricanes' line-up as if he were going to be the “saviour” and conceded that had Weight not been injured, the idea of returning probably wouldn't have crossed his mind. Cole didn't like the fact that the Oilers' Ethan Moreau hit him hard in the third minute of play. “It was tough getting some sleep this afternoon,” said Cole. “I had a lot of anxiety, a lot of emotion. It's been a long process. I got to the rink and felt good and was excited. I felt good in warm-ups and on my shift. On that power play, I knew he (Moreau) was coming. It's not surprising that he was trying to head-hunt me a little bit.”
read on You can read Q & A with Cole after the game in the comment section...

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com







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